Floundering (1994)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Noted independent film producer Peter McCarthy made his writing and directing debut with this surreal comedy. John Boyz (James LeGros) is an aimless sad sack who is wandering Los Angeles in the wake of the 1992 riots. John is in an unclear state of mind; he can't find a job (and doesn't really want one), the IRS has confiscated his money, his girlfriend Jessica (Lisa Zane) is sleeping around, he can't figure out what the beautiful but mysterious Elle (Marzita Rivera) wants from him, his drug-addicted brother Jimmy (Ethan Hawke) needs 3,000 dollars for a detox program, and police chief Merryl Fence (Nelson Lyon) is encouraging the citizens of L.A. to kill themselves. A stellar roster of actors and musicians appear in cameo roles, including John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Piven, Dave Navarro, Dave Alvin, and Exene Cervenka. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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James LeGros
as John Boyz
Ethan Hawke
as Jimmy
Lisa Zane
as Jessica
Sy Richardson
as Commander K
Kim Wayans
as Unemployment Clerk
Yolanda Garcia
as Yolanda
Nelson Lyon
as Chief Fence
Alex Cox
as Photographer
Dave Navarro
as Drug Kid
Dave Roberson
as Burly Driver
Olivia Barash
as Ruthie
Tom Cortese
as Drug Dealer
Gary Gershaw
as Loan Officer
Catherine Butterfield
as Nurse Folicle
Zander Schloss
as Catatonic Man
Ted Raimi
as Sale Salesman
as Shaman
Chazz Carter
as Crack Smoker
Del Zamora
as 2nd Crack Smoker
Rick Najera
as Good Samaritan
David Alvin
as Chauffeur
David H. Goodman
as Businessman
Dave Alvin
as Chauffeur
Doug Williams
as Freddie
Viggo Mortensen
as Homeless Man
Exene Cervenka
as Homeless Woman
Henry Blake Mortensen
as Homeless Child
Dolores Deluxe
as Breadstore Clerk
Eddie Baytos
as Paper Thief
Ed Pansullo
as Flower Vendor
Alex Michel
as Producer
Margaret McNally
as Westsider
Anna Wacks
as Westside Kid
Bill Fishman
as Insurance Salesman
Ned Bellamy
as Phonebook Salesman
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Critic Reviews for Floundering

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

All-too-aptly named.

Full Review… | August 26, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This first feature by independent producer Peter McCarthy is fairly lightweight, but the cast and low-rent production credits have a certain charm.

Full Review… | August 26, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

While the disjointed tale of contemporary alienation doesn't always connect the dots, it has a raw energy and sense of fun that's infectious.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Because the speechifying lacks the cutting comic edge that distinguishes good satire, Floundering too often blubbers when it should be viciously funny.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie gets a lot of mileage out of a seemingly simple concept.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Yet another quirky independent comedy about a disenfranchised white male urban slacker, Floundering is distinguished mainly by its left-leaning politics and numerous cameos by boho thespians and alternative rockers.

Full Review… | August 26, 2013
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Floundering

This one had a surprising amount of stars for such a small indie flick. This is about a man who is completely inside his head. He tries to make sense of the world around him. In doing so he makes a lot of mistakes, doing crack, kidnapping, etc. I really liked it. It was very strange how completely okay he was with his girlfriend openly sleeping with other guys.

John Trifiletti
John Trifiletti

This super-low budget film has been one of my favorite films for years. Re-watched it the other night, and it still has the same charm, and resonance it did when I first saw it 10 years ago. James LeGros makes, and carries this film. All of the other actors are barely cameos (be warned).

Dale Johnson
Dale Johnson

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